Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More Poems

Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells

(In the UK, "Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells" is the proverbial term for an angry and 'reactionary' writer of a letter to the editor. Is there an equivalent in America?)

I miss Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells—
I mourn his passing more each day.
No matter how our age repels
We fogies shrug and turn away.
But dear Disgusted never tired
Of ringing out the warning bells.
They’ve fallen mute since he expired;
I miss Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells.

I miss his iron-grey moustache
I miss his open, ruddy face;
Though he was loud and bold and brash
He kept the world a gentle place.
With him around, adulterers
Gave pseudonyms in good hotels
And bloody was a shocking curse;
I miss Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells.

Now he’s passed on, the BBC
Drops aitches like a ton of bricks
And shrinks away from decency
Like vampires from a crucifix.
And now he isn’t here to see
It’s seldom anybody spells
‘Bus with its due apostrophe;
I miss Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells.

I like to think his spirit haunts
Some very backward boarding school
That’s proof against all modern taunts
Where ties and blazers are the rule;
Outside, restraint and rectitude
May wave us all their last farewells
But inside, there is quietude
For dear Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells.

In the Shadows

You think the dark is frightening
And shudder when the light goes off
And the noose of night is tightening
Around your bed, and you find no
Comfort in your teddy’s love.

You dread the lonely walk upstairs—
What might be waiting at the top?
What listens to you say your prayers
And calmly waits for you to go
Asleep, so it can chew you up?

Beneath the duvets of your mind
There lurks a deeper, darker fear;
The night is dumb, the dark is blind
The demons are inside your head
And when those demons disappear

The loneliness is worst of all;
Night stretches to infinity.
Your teddy-bear is just a doll
And when you climb the stairs to bed
No monster keeps you company.


Look right; look left; please mind your head;
Turn off your mobile phone.

What pleasure to be shepherded
Inside a safety zone!
But what diktat can calm my dread
When I am all alone?

Who will erect the road signs
On the highways of my soul?
Memory has no yellow lines
And horror has no crowd control;
Embarrassment ignores the fine
And pain ignores the toll.

I long for zero tolerance
To reign inside my heart;
For barricade and wall and fence
And heavily-armoured guard
To keep in check those insurgents
Who want me torn apart.

1 comment:

  1. These were pretty interesting. Nice work. I think I liked "Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells" the most, though I liked the message of "In the Shadows" too.